Manchester United hero Gary Neville has described Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final second leg away at Real Madrid as “monstrous”.

Pep Guardiola’s men travel to the Bernabeu with a 4-3 advantage on Wednesday, as he tries to guide his side to back-to-back finals. The Catalan boss will be eager to avenge last year’s loss to Chelsea and will face another English club in Liverpool should they progress this time.

The task in Spain will be far from easy, with Madrid upholding major competition pedigree amid their historic 13 title successes. Neville says City are the favourites going into the match but Guardiola will be worried about what unfolded in the first leg.

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“This is a monstrous game in midweek for City,” he told Sky Sports. “Manchester City versus Real Madrid is an event.

“The game last week was, but this on Wednesday is like a heavyweight boxing clash of the century. Real Madrid were on the canvas a couple of times but they got up, and that is the thing Pep will fear most.”

He added: “However well City play, however good their football is, how much possession they keep, there will be a dangerous beast facing them that doesn’t know how to give in, how to stop, or call it a day. That is what is coming on Wednesday.”

Neville does not understate the magnitude of the tie, which could ultimately affect City’s season and maybe partly define Guardiola’s tenure. He said: “This game will have huge impact on Manchester City for the rest of the season.

“Because if they do go out on Wednesday after losing last season’s final to Chelsea disappointingly, there will be a drain on Pep Guardiola and what he and the players want to achieve. It’s a big week.

“I think City will go through, but you cannot write off Real Madrid because of the historic resilience they prove time and time again.”

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